Brooklyn Judaica store drops children’s books after author accused of sexual misconduct
(JTA) — A Judaica and Jewish books store has stopped selling a series of popular children’s books after accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced against the books’ author.
The announcement from Eichler’s Judaica, which is located in Borough Park, was made Tuesday evening several days after the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an investigation into alleged sexual abuse by Chaim Walder, the author of the “Kids Speak” series. The books, which have been published since the 1990s, tell stories about Orthodox Jewish children and emphasize a child’s perspective on the the problems they face in their lives. The books are popular among school-age children in Israel and the United States.
Mordy Getz, the owner of Eichler’s in Borough Park, announced the decision in a letter posted to Twitter and Instagram.
“It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that we will no longer carry the books of Chaim Walder in our stores due to shocking allegations recently revealed,” Getz said in the letter. “This decision was not made lightly and will no doubt come at a heavy financial cost, as these books were bestsellers— but as a business that cares about our community, we cannot ignore the pleas we have received on behalf of the alleged victims.”
In addition to his writing, Walder also works as a therapist and was honored in 2003 with the Israeli prime minister’s “protector of the child” award. According to an investigation by Haaretz, several women accused Walder of initiating sexual relationships with them when they approached him for counseling.
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